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Faculty & Research

Nadirah Farah Foley

Nadirah Farah Foley

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Office:  Larsen 310


Nadirah Farah Foley is a fourth-year doctoral student concentrating in Culture, Institutions, and Society in the Education Ph.D. program at Harvard. Steeped in the sociology of race, sociology of education, and cultural sociology, Foley's research explores issues of culture and inequality, especially how race and class shape cultural processes and students' experiences. Her current research focuses on inequality in the suburbs, but her interests run the gamut from understanding the role of elite institutions of higher education to investigating how family structure and place impact students' educational trajectories. In large part, Foley's research interests are inspired by her previous work with students who identify as people of color, low-income, and/or first-generation, as well as her own experiences as a low-income black student in predominantly-white suburban schools and elite universities.

While in graduate school, she has been a teaching fellow for a range of classes including a course on the history of higher education, an introductory qualitative methods module, a course on racial identity development, and courses on race, inequality, and culture in education. Outside of the classroom, she has served on the Harvard Educational Review's Editorial Board (2016-2018); currently, she serves as a research assistant and as one of the student coordinators of Harvard's interdisciplinary Contemporary Studies of Race and Ethnicity Workshop. Prior to coming to Harvard, Foley held positions with a college access non-profit, in undergraduate admissions, in student affairs, and with a bridge program for incoming first-year college students from underrepresented backgrounds. She holds an M.S.Ed in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and an A.B. in Classics (with honors) from Princeton University.